The demand for tower climbers is increasing at an incredible rate. Cell towers all over the country need repairs and upgrades. To safely climb towers, you will need some basic training, and a few key pieces of equipment: Helmet, Harness, Fall-Arrest Lanyard, Positioning Lanyard, Gloves, and Carabiners. With proper training and equipment, tower climbing can be a great job opportunity.
An absolutely essential part of a tower climber’s gear, the helmet protects you from falling objects and other hazards while you’re climbing. Any helmet used on a tower should be at least a category 1 helmet, rated for top impacts. A bolt accidentally dropped from 200 feet can quickly become a dangerous bullet looking for a target at the base of the tower.Helmet Selection
The tower climbing harness is your office chair – if it’s not comfortable, you won’t be comfortable all day. Your tower harness will be used for positioning and fall arrest. A good tower harness will have at least four D-rings: 1 on the chest (sternal), 1 on the back (dorsal), and 2 on the sides for positioning. The Chest and Back D-rings are usually rated for Fall-Arrest, while the side D-rings are not. Some tower climbing harnesses also include built-in seats for added comfort.Tower Harness Selection
Also called a Y-lanyard, V-lanyard, or 100% tie-off, this is an essential piece of gear. With two hooks, these lanyards enable you to always be tied-off since you can attach one before removing the other. In the event of a fall, the lanyard has built-in shock absorption, limiting the force you exerted on your body. Different styles of safety lanyards require different climbing styles; be sure you are properly trained on the equipment you use.Fall-arrest Lanyard Selection
Also called a positioning strap, this piece of equipment is more than just comfort on the tower. A proper positioning safety lanyard should be easily adjustable, and should keep you within 24” of the tower at all times. It helps stabilize you while you are working, and acts as fall prevention (as opposed to fall-arrest). Many styles are available, so choose one safety lanyard that fits your needs.Positioning Strap Selection
Towers can be sharp depending on how they are built and as a result, a good pair of tower climbing gloves is necessary. Protecting your hands while you work and climb is a key element of personal safety. Nobody likes having to climb, or work, with an injured hand. A tough, comfortable pair of tower climbing gloves will help you work comfortably all day.Climbing Gloves Selection
Useful for more things than duct-tape, carabiners are a good thing to have on your rig. They come in various sizes and strengths, but it’s a good idea to make sure the ones you’re using are ANSI Z359.1 (07) rated. (Hint: It will be stamped on the carabiner if it is.) Carabiners connect all of the pieces together (e.g. your positioning strap to your side D-rings). It never hurts to have a few extra carabiners.Carabiner Selection
- FALL-ARREST LANYARD
- POSITIONING LANYARD
Videos Shot at Safety One Training Center.